Okay I know I've had a lot of updates lately, and no one really cares when I ding a level or two; but I thought I'd take some time and post an update on the things I tested over the holiday weekend.
First, spurred by a post on the Funcom forums, I took a look at +Dex and +Damage as it pertains to DPS. Remember, dexterity is suppose to contribute to a number of skills, but this is strictly talking about DPS.
To test this, I looked at two daggers; Duskfang and Cadillus. Duskfang contributes both Dex and Damage, while Cadillus only contributes Dex. Here's a screenshot for comparisons.
You can find the math I used on the forums in this post.
When you look at a weapon in your inventory, it gives you it's bare-naked stats; in otherwords, the stats of the item not modified by things such as your dexterity, or modifiers (including the ones on the item itself). So you can see the base DPS for that particular weapon. When you equip the weapon, the DPS changes to reflect your stats.
For a comparison, I looked at the "naked DPS" of the weapon, then the modified DPS with both duskfang's equiped, and with duskfang and cadillus equipped. This allows you to see how the different stats effect the overall DPS.
Long story short, I found that 1 +Damage translates directly into +1 DPS. +5 Dex translates into about .1 DPS. Obviously, if you're looking to raise your DPS, you want to go with damage. The disclaimer is this: I was lvl 44 at the time of the test. I've heard rumors of a +damage cap; in other words, once you reach a certian +damage, adding more won't help you. I'm not lvl 80 so I can't test this yet. Also, I've heard rumors that +damage only helps in PvE, but not PvP. I haven't tested this, but I don't think it's true. It's common (and you see all sorts of posts claiming that) stats don't work or calculate in PvP. I think what a lot of people are missing is that they work, but PvP advisaries tend to have better armor, evasion, and resistances than PvE mobs, so it may feel you're not getting all your stats when in reality it's just that your foe's are stronger. Again, if I get a chance I'll do some testing to be sure.
Secondly, spurred by another thread, I looked at Swift Strikes. Someone was complaining that Swift Strikes sucks and is underpowered. They said they were lvl 35. At level 44 you get your next rank of Swift Strikes (SS V). At that point, cunning strikes is level VI. With my build (Corruption) I have Unholy Strength, which adds to the damage of Swift Strikes. Initially I posted that yes, as you level, Swift Strikes is way behind Cunning Strikes in damage, but at some point it surpasses it. I said that when I got SSV at lvl 44, I thought it met or surpassed CS. This was based on nothing more than watching the enemie's health bar while I fought, and how much health each seemed to take away.
Well, why should anyone take my opinion to mean anything? So I decided to start logging my combat and then take a look at things with AoCStats.com's parser. Well, At lvl 44-45, Swift strikes did about 70 damage per hit, and hits 6 times. Cunning strike hit for... well, I don't have the numbers right now, but I think about 370 and hits twice. So totaly, SSV did (on average) 420 damage and CS did 740. Again, those aren't the exact numbers but they're close. So SSV didn't do anywhere near the damage CSVI did. So why did I think they were even?
I don't know if it's because SSV hits 6 times, compaired to 2, which would mean more chance for offhand and other damage-adding procs. I haven't had a chance to go through the logs line-by-line, and the parser isn't that detailed.
Anyway, I did end up reaching 48 (49 now), and that means I got Swift Strikes VI. I haven't ran the log through the parser, but from eye-balling the combat log in-game, the average SSVI hit is 120-140. (times 6). So that would put SSVI ahead of CSVI.
So it seems that if you're corruption spec, SS surpasses CS at lvl 48. I don't know how much Unholy Strength adds to SS damage, if lotus SS doesn't surpass CS at 48 also, then I'm sure the next rank it would.
So there's the "research" I did over the weekend. I know the lvl80's out there will say "oh, you can't judge before 80!" or whatever, but those numbers should help those of you who are mid-levels like myself.